Specialized has decided to jump into the quickly growing adjustable seatpost arena with its new Command Post. The Command Post isn’t a radical departure from existing products, particularly the crankbrothers Joplin, but Specialized has managed to improve significantly on the alternatives currently in the market.
The most important of these improvements is the elimination of play in the adjustment mechanism. This ‘slop’ has plagued most adjustable seatposts, and the resulting saddle movement has been a real turnoff to many trying the technology for the first time. Reportedly, Specialized has been able to completely do away with this play, so the only movement left in this seatpost happens when you hit the bar-mounted release lever.
The Command Post has a healthy 100mm of adjustment range, with 3 positions to choose within this range. An adjustable air spring enables the seatpost to extend to its longer positions, and a mechanical locking system holds things in place while you ride. Weights are competitive for the segment, with the Command Post checking in a few grams lighter than a Joplin of the same length.
If you haven’t had a chance to try out an adjustable seatpost on your trailbike, you’ll be surprised at how useful it is. The ability to drop the saddle out of the way on the fly as you approach a hairy section allows you to ride more aggressively, without having to dismount and drag your seat back up for every climb. Specialized’s Mike McAndrews, in a recent interview with Bike magazine had the following to say about the Command Post’s usefulness:
When we started this project, I figured I’d drop my post maybe once a ride. But when you actually use one of these, it changes your whole riding style. You don’t just drop the post all the way down for steep descents. In the Cruiser position, which is 35mm lower than the full extension, there is just so much more terrain that you can ride. I’m activating the post all the time and riding things I wouldn’t even have considered trying before.
Specialized is spec’ing the Command Post on its top-end Enduro models for 2009, and the unit is currently available aftermarket (though only in a 30.9mm diameter) for USD $300.